Q: How important is it for a new tribe (less than 1 year in game) to get a village set up as soon as possible? (emphasis on the last bit)
A: Depends on the circumstances. I didn’t set up a village until well after a year. At that time I only did it so that I could do hex-to-hex transfers of coal and provs. Later on, villages are necessary to do other village-only activities.
I think it depends on whether you find a good location…..coal and iron (or another valuable resource) nearby….access to the ocean if you wish to build a shipyard….defensible (a resource hex between two fords is ideal)…there are a few things to consider. But, in the short term, I think villages offer more options for a young tribe than just wandering around and exploring.
A good location also involves position with respect to allies and how you fit into any working alliance. and this can evolve and change over time.
I spent a lot of time as a nomadic clan last time, and found that the benefits of a village far outweighed the freedom of movement and “invisibility”. Especially after me and my allies had mapped enough of the world to know where the good spots were. You just can’t beat a barrel full of Rum!!!
Wandering and exploring has a great allure – I did it for a long time. But village life is much easier and much more profitable.
If you find coal and iron ore close together build a village, you go nowhere in this game if you’re not in a village without coal and iron ore.
Q: Setting up a village, A. what does this entail and B. Is it worth doing?
A: The very basic village requires Engineering 2 and 100 logs to build a meeting house. That’s literally the very least you can do. For a few comments regarding the advantages of building a village read “Distilling the Fog” in the info pack. It lists some of the ups and downs of village life.
One of the biggest advantages of village life is being able to build defensive works such as walls and moats. Other advantages include a long list of activities and production which can only be achieved in a village…Distilling, Refining, Farming, Ship Building, etc. It is certainly a direction worth considering once you know where you are, and what/who is around you.